Research Paper| Volume 50, ISSUE 2, P188-196, March 2023

Lumbosacral plexus block using a combination of ultrasound-guided lateral pre-iliac and parasacral approaches in cats

Published:January 22, 2023DOI:



      To describe an ultrasound-guided lateral pre-iliac (LPI) and parasacral (PS) approach in feline cadavers (phase I) and compare the perioperative analgesic use and complications in cats administered LPI and PS blocks (group PNB) or epidural anesthesia (group EPI) for pelvic limb surgery (phase II).

      Study design

      Experimental uncontrolled, anatomic and retrospective cohort study.


      A group of eight feline cadavers and 52 medical records.


      Bilateral LPI and PS approaches with 0.1 mL kg–1 of dye to stain the femoral and obturator nerves and the lumbosacral trunk, respectively, were performed on each cadaver. Nerve staining effect was evaluated upon dissections (phase I). Perioperative analgesics use, and complication rates were retrospectively compared between groups PNB and EPI (phase II). Continuous data were compared using the Mann–Whitney U test and the prevalence of events with Fisher’s exact test. Differences were considered significant when p < 0.05.


      Dissections revealed that the LPI approach stained 94% and 75% of the femoral and obturator nerves, respectively. The PS approach stained 100% of the lumbosacral trunks. Cats enrolled in group PNB (n = 23) were administered lower doses of intraoperative opioids than those in group EPI (n = 25) (p = 0.006). Intraoperative rescue analgesia was required in 60% and 17.4% of cats enrolled in groups EPI and PNB, respectively (p = 0.003). Group PNB required more intraoperative anticholinergics than group EPI (p = 0.02). There were no differences in postoperative pain scores, analgesic use and complication rates.

      Conclusions and clinical relevance

      The ultrasound-guided LPI and PS approach stained the femoral/obturator nerves and the lumbosacral trunk, respectively, in feline cadavers. Furthermore, PNB was associated with lower intraoperative opioid use and similar postoperative pain and analgesic use compared with epidural anesthesia in a cohort of cats undergoing surgery of the pelvic limb.


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